Marrakesh Implementation Metadata Working Group

Terms of Reference


The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled was adopted in June 2013.  It is an historic treaty because it is the first treaty with a human rights’ focus at its core and it is the first users’ rights treaty in the history of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  The goal of the Marrakesh Treaty is to end the book famine experienced by millions of people with print disabilities, where alternate formats exist for less than 10% of works available worldwide.  The dearth of alternate formats works is caused in part by constraints integral to copyright laws that the Marrakesh Treaty sought to resolve through mandatory limitations and exceptions to copyright. Libraries, with their mandates to provide equitable access to information, are key players in the practical implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty. CARL and ARL are leading an international initiative with research libraries in Canada and the United States to implement the Marrakesh Treaty and provide a pathway of practices and documentation, for all libraries to follow to fulfil the Marrakesh Treaty’s promise of access to works and ending the book famine.

The terms of reference laid out below define high level project goals.  Specific activities will be defined and expanded upon in the Marrakesh Pilot Project work plan.

Remit for the ARL-CARL Task Force on Marrakesh Treaty Implementation.


Under the direction of the Task Force, the working group will:

  • Build on the outcomes of previous work of the FRAME project, (and similar accessibility initiatives)
  • Determine minimum metadata requirements for pilot participating libraries
  • Recommend controlled vocabularies for use in alternate format descriptions
  • Make recommendations to the Marrakesh Steering Committee on post-pilot activities
  • Advance standardization for accessibility metadata
  • Collaborate and consult with the Marrakesh Implementation Task Force, working groups, and external bodies as needed

Members will:

  • Attend meetings regularly and execute the project (attend meetings and complete prep work as needed)
  • Represent the views and interests of the project;
  • Work with the Project Task Force to establish milestones, specific tasks, and a project schedule that will enable the group to complete its Implementation Phase deliverables;
  • Support the Working Group Chair to report on project progress and successes, and highlight any developing barriers or project problems;
  • Represent the group on teleconferences, webinars or in-person meetings;
  • Work with the Communications contacts at ARL and CARL to provide information for reports, and communications as required;
  • Prepare reports and other documents; and
  • Help to disseminate knowledge about the project.


  • Metadata librarians and managers from ARL and CARL libraries participating in the Marrakesh Initiative. Members will have a broad range of expertise. Working Group membership may be expanded during the life of the project on recommendation by the Working Group and/or the Task Force
  • The working group will include one or more representatives from each participating library.
  • ARL and/or CARL Project Leads (or designate) in ex-officio capacity.


  • Membership will be for a two-year period (beginning June 2021) with opportunity for renewal.
  • Staggered approach for recruiting new members to provide the Working Group with continuity of expertise.


  • A chair for the Metadata Working Group shall be recommended from among the members of the Working Group


  • Meetings will be held as needed. Meeting frequency and duration will vary as needed to efficiently complete working group activities.
  • Meetings will take place via webconference and occasionally, in-person, if feasible
  • Between meetings, the Working Group members will undertake specific work tasks as outlined in its work plan.
  • The Working Group members will consult between meetings by email or webconference.

Lines of Accountability and Communication

The group will provide:

  • Regular updates to the Task Force through the Working Group Chair (typically monthly at the Marrakesh Steering Committee Meetings);
  • Documentation and updates to the partner institution Library Directors, as appropriate;
  • Recommend communications to the broader ARL/CARL communities;
  • Regular distribution of records of decisions and documents by the Working Group Chair to ensure accurate and consistent information is distributed to appropriate parties; and
  • Records of decisions and documents of the Working Group will be posted on the shared Google drive.

Financial and Administrative Policies

  • Service on the Working Group is non-remunerative.
  • Travel and meeting expenses for Working Group members are reimbursed according to the Travel and Expense policies of ARL/CARL, as required.
  • Members of the Working Group will comply with ARL/CARL approved governance and appropriate organizational policies, including code of conduct and conflict of interest policies.